Today, I testified before the House Subcommittee on trade, production & trade on behalf of American workers and businesses in the U.S. solar industry--restrictive and unfair trade practices in India.
India is a country with some of the best solar resources in the world. With the cost of solar continues to refuse is India's solar industry for explosive growth. The United States are willing to lend our expertise and our work to promote positive and lasting trade relations with India in the solar industry. However, India's increasing use of a specific industrial policy discriminated against US exports solar and provides an unfair competitive advantage for domestic solar manufacturers of India.
In recent years, U.S. Solar-Panel manufacturers have asked hundreds of millions dollars of supply exports to India. Most of these are plates on the basis of "thin film" technology, a leading US technology a global competitive advantage.
At the same time, politics India's have solar turned increasingly inward. In 2010, India took a local request not a part of the country's national solar mission.
SEIA agrees wholeheartedly with the promotion of solar manufacturing, both as an instrument of economic development and a solution to climate change. But India's State support measures with international trade commitments of the country be compatible must, and request India solar local content is a direct violation of obligations.
While local content requirements to protect some domestic manufacturers, they also boost to limit the country's access to new technologies and to increase cost - not to mention the fact that local content requirements through global trade rules are explicitly prohibited.
SEIA supports the overall objectives of the Indian national solar mission and focus on a domestic solar manufacturing base is growing. In fact calls for the U.S. Government, the recent introduction of the World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute settlement case only a determination of the national solar mission - his local request no.
The US challenge threatens no national solar mission itself. Measures violate global trade rules do not all support the Government, and there are a number of measures, which could not accept India as an alternative to the local request. However there is, whether formally or informally, the WTO-consistent Government support could transform the programme, what country targeting, not a list.
Industry and Governments have today an important opportunity work together, and so a list with the common goal of expansion of solar energy all over the world, free from the shackles of unfair trade barriers proactively to develop. We believe that cooperation, not litigation everyones best serve interests.
John Smirnow is the Vice President of the trade & competitiveness at the solar energy industries Association (SEIA), the national trade association for the U.S. solar industry.
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